When Lone Star Savings & Loan, a private banking venture in Pinebox, Texas, fell on hard times, the local business community was pleased to learn that an international banking corporation had made a generous offer to buy out the small concern. More importantly, the corporation, First Foundation Bank, seemed intent on making investments in the community while maintaining the neighborly nature of the bank. Most of the employees were invited to stay in their current positions and several bank officers found work within the new corporation, ensuring a smooth transfer of ownership. The offices on the second and third floors of the bank building, previously vacant, filled with new clients, including the new North American offices of First Foundation Bank.
However, all has not gone well. Soon after the change in ownership, employees felt a corporate chill creep into what had been a family-friendly business. Not only did the temperature in the building literally drop, but most employees think the new bank president, Bridgette Laurine, is cold and impersonal. The new security guards are polite enough, but are unnerving in a way that people cannot seem to explain. Employees are encouraged to leave as near to closing time as possible, and they often find that things have been moved when they return the next day. Lastly, Laurine has told workers that they have no need to go up to the corporate offices on the third floor and should avoid doing so.